Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) is embroiled in controversy over an Islamophobia bill which appears to lack backing by the Biden Administration.
According to Fox News, The Combating International Islamophobia Act gives direction to the State Department to create a special envoy and office to combat prejudice against those of the Islamic faith.
The bill dictates that the group would monitor and combat Islamophobia around the world, and updates some domestic laws that cover how the State Department deals with reports of violations of human rights.
According to a House of Representatives aide, the State Department sent the congressional staff a series of concerns it had with Omar’s bill.
“While we share the sentiments of the bill, in order to preserve the Secretary’s flexibility to manage the Department, revisions would be appropriate to make mandates and prescriptive provisions into permissive authorities, such that the Secretary would be authorized to set up the office and envoy,” the department said in a message last week.
“Similarly, the longstanding preference is not to amend the human rights annual report authority to add in specific topics, as reporting would capture such activities already, and the specification of narrow reporting topics can give the impression of a less than comprehensive scope,” the note said, according to Fox News.
“It would seem in keeping with the timeliness of the topic, to instead provide for an annual report on the specific topic for a stated period of time, such as [three] years.
“We note that in several places the bill refers to the ‘right to religious freedom’ which is formulated under international law as ‘the right to freedom of religion or belief.’”